First carp fishing trip to France is a great success for this family from Holland with loads of 30’s to 37lbs and a massive catfish of 93lbs!
This week we had the pleasure of welcoming a new group that travelled all the way from Holland for their first French carp fishing adventure. Nathalie was accompanied by her brother (Maurice) and father (Leen) along with mum who was here to watch the fun and relax.
The family are an experienced group of anglers that have done many holidays like this in Holland with PB carp ranging between 35 and 40lbs. The massive catfish weren’t a main target but they were happy to catch one if it came along. On arrival, they couldn’t wait to get started. Originally they were not planning to do the nights but when they learnt that all the fish had come out during the night the previous week, they re-considered their strategy.
By Monday, dad and son had had a carp each, both caught on our readymade rigs, one on our bait and one on theirs and both at night. Nathalie wasn’t disappointed that she hadn’t caught one yet but I checked her rigs anyway. Although she was using my rigs, she’d changed the bait configuration of one which was making it less effective so we soon got that sorted. I also gave them a quick hook sharpening demo and left them to it.
We were back again Wednesday and it was great to hear that 5 more carp had been caught to 37lbs but still nothing for Nathalie. After spending the first half of the week in the point swims, they’d very wisely decided to fish from the other side for the latter half of the week. Thursday morning we received and excited email from Nathalie with her first carp (Magnum at 29lbs).
Top rod this week was Maurice who, after a few pointers from me in terms of lake bed features to look for caught steadily all week. Small traps accurately placed onto clearly defined features are always a successful method and this week was no exception. Despite their experience, they normally buy ready tied rigs so it was an easy decision for them to choose our own handmade rigs which offer the advantage of a hand sharpened hook which makes all the difference here. All the fish caught this week came on our Beausoleil rigs.
Boat, bruises, a lot of muscle and the big cat finally capitulated!
A trip to Beausoleil in late spring isn’t complete without a massive catfish and although they weren’t really targeting them, one couldn’t resist one of my double 24mm catfish rigs. It was Leen who got the pickup while fishing from the home swim. The home swim is not the place you want you hook a catfish so it was going to be a big ask to land this one. Maurice being younger and stronger did much of the initial fight with the powerful beast. He did very well to steer it past the bridge but even with a fully locked up big pit reel and the rod bent well beyond test, there was no stopping this catfish as it headed past the end of the island and then back round the other side! Fortunately the guys had followed our advice and spooled up with the mighty Big Game in 25lbs.
Despite the fact that it had wrapped the mainline round the rocks and trees on the end of the island, it still held on! A stale mate reached, they took the decision to put Leen in the boat with Nathalie on the oars. Next stop, who knew! As they left the shores of home swim, the catfish decided to come back to meet them. Somewhere off the island point the mainline was free and they made direct contact with the catfish. The catfish then towed them back towards home swim. Once in the shallows they hopped out the boat and took up the fight once more.
Waist deep in water they had the catfish circling them on an ever shortening line. With the catfish obviously tiring they tried to glove the beast but, funnily enough catfish are stubborn creatures and don’t open their mouths on command! After a few attempts Nathalie managed to get a gloved hand in but it clamped down very hard and she has a large bruise to prove it! Gloving abandoned, mum grabbed a net and finally they were able to bundle it in. Result!
Massive congratulations to all on this one, it really was touch and go as to whether this one was going to be banked. A combination of good materials, quick thinking and a good deal of strength and skill was what was required and the guys did a great job! If my memory serves me right, it’s the biggest catfish hooked and landed from home swim. The guys told me that a good 30m of mainline was very badly damaged after taking an absolute battering on the rocks and roots and they were amazed that they landed it! I’m pretty sure that most other mainlines would have failed well before this cat was in a position to be landed. During our own abrasion tests, 25lb Big Game lasted 3 times longer than 30lbs P-Line CXX-Xtra strong which is supposed to be super tough!
We are delighted that their first foreign carp fishing adventure was such a success and that they re-booked for next May before they left!
Catch report & Feedback from:Leen, Bep, Nathalie & Maurice
Dates at Beausoleil: 3rd to the 10th June 2017
Number of anglers: 3
Brief details of your catches:13 fish in total
8 x Mirror Carp: 37lbs 8oz, 34lbs, 33lbs, 30lbs 8oz, 29lbs, 28lbs, 27lbs, 26lbs
4x Common Carp: 34lbs, 31lbs, 29lbs 8oz, 25lbs,
1x Catfish: 93lbs